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Xenon
Xenon is a chemical element with the symbol Xe and atomic number 54. It is a dense, colorless, odorless noble gas found in Earth's atmosphere in trace amounts. Although generally unreactive, it can undergo a few chemical reactions such as the formation of xenon hexafluoroplatinate, the first noble gas compound to be synthesized. Xenon is used in flash lamps and arc lamps, and as a general anesthetic. The first excimer laser design used a xenon dimer molecule (Xe2) as the lasing medium, and the earliest laser designs used xenon flash lamps as pumps. Xenon is also used to search for hypothetical weakly interacting massive particles and as a propellant for ion thrusters in spacecraft. Naturally occurring xenon consists of seven stable isotopes and two long-lived radioactive isotopes. More than 40 unstable xenon isotopes undergo radioactive decay, and the isotope ratios of xenon are an important tool for studying the early history of the Solar System. Radioactive xenon ...
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Noble Gas
The noble gases (historically also the inert gases; sometimes referred to as aerogens) make up a class of chemical elements with similar properties; under standard conditions, they are all odorless, colorless, monatomic gases with very low chemical reactivity. The six naturally occurring noble gases are helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), and the radioactive radon (Rn). Oganesson (Og) is a synthetically produced highly radioactive element. Although IUPAC has used the term "noble gas" interchangeably with "group 18" and thus included oganesson, it may not be significantly chemically noble and is predicted to break the trend and be reactive due to relativistic effects. Because of the extremely short 0.7 ms half-life of its only known isotope, its chemistry has not yet been investigated. For the first six periods of the periodic table, the noble gases are exactly the members of group 18. Noble gases are typically highly unreactive except whe ...
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Ion Thruster
An ion thruster, ion drive, or ion engine is a form of electric propulsion used for spacecraft propulsion. It creates thrust by accelerating ions using electricity. An ion thruster ionizes a neutral gas by extracting some electrons out of atoms, creating a cloud of positive ions. Ion thrusters are categorized as either electrostatic or electromagnetic. Electrostatic thruster ions are accelerated by the Coulomb force along the electric field direction. Temporarily stored electrons are reinjected by a ''neutralizer'' in the cloud of ions after it has passed through the electrostatic grid, so the gas becomes neutral again and can freely disperse in space without any further electrical interaction with the thruster. By contrast, electromagnetic thruster ions are accelerated by the Lorentz force to accelerate all species (free electrons as well as positive and negative ions) in the same direction whatever their electric charge, and are specifically referred to as plasma ...
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Isotopes Of Xenon
Naturally occurring xenon (54Xe) consists of seven stable isotopes and two very long-lived isotopes. Double electron capture has been observed in 124Xe (half-life ) and double beta decay in 136Xe (half-life ), which are among the longest measured half-lives of all nuclides. The isotopes 126Xe and 134Xe are also predicted to undergo double beta decay, but this has never been observed in these isotopes, so they are considered to be stable. Beyond these stable forms, 32 artificial unstable isotopes and various isomers have been studied, the longest-lived of which is 127Xe with a half-life of 36.345 days. All other isotopes have half-lives less than 12 days, most less than 20 hours. The shortest-lived isotope, 108Xe, has a half-life of 58 μs, and is the heaviest known nuclide with equal numbers of protons and neutrons. Of known isomers, the longest-lived is 131mXe with a half-life of 11.934 days. 129Xe is produced by beta decay of 129I (half-life: 16 million years); 131mXe, 133Xe ...
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Xenon Arc Lamp
A xenon arc lamp is a highly specialized type of gas discharge lamp, an electric light that produces light by passing electricity through ionized xenon gas at high pressure. It produces a bright white light to simulate sunlight, with applications in movie projectors in theaters, in searchlights, and for specialized uses in industry and research. For instance, Xenon arc lamps with mercury lamps are the two most common lamps used in wide-field fluorescence microscopes. Types Xenon arc lamps can be roughly divided into three categories: continuous-output xenon short-arc lamps, continuous-output xenon long-arc lamps, and xenon flash lamps (which are usually considered separately). Each consists of a fused quartz or other heat resistant glass arc tube, with a tungsten metal electrode at each end. The glass tube is first evacuated and then re-filled with xenon gas. For xenon flashtubes, a third "trigger" electrode usually surrounds the exterior of the arc tube. The lifetime of ...
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Xenon-135
Xenon-135 (135Xe) is an unstable isotope of xenon with a half-life of about 9.2 hours. 135Xe is a fission product of uranium and it is the most powerful known neutron-absorbing nuclear poison (2 million barns; up to 3 million barns under reactor conditions), with a significant effect on nuclear reactor operation. The ultimate yield of xenon-135 from fission is 6.3%, though most of this is from fission-produced tellurium-135 and iodine-135. 135Xe effects on reactor restart In a typical nuclear reactor fueled with uranium-235, the presence of 135Xe as a fission product presents designers and operators with problems due to its large neutron cross section for absorption. Because absorbing neutrons can detrimentally affect a nuclear reactor's ability to increase power, reactors are designed to mitigate this effect; operators are trained to properly anticipate and react to these transients. In fact, during World War II, Enrico Fermi suspected the effect of Xe-135, and followed ...
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Noble Gas Compound
In chemistry, noble gas compounds are chemical compounds that include an element from the noble gases, group 18 of the periodic table. Although the noble gases are generally unreactive elements, many such compounds have been observed, particularly involving the element xenon. From the standpoint of chemistry, the noble gases may be divided into two groups: the relatively reactive krypton ( ionisation energy 14.0  eV), xenon (12.1 eV), and radon (10.7 eV) on one side, and the very unreactive argon (15.8 eV), neon (21.6 eV), and helium (24.6 eV) on the other. Consistent with this classification, Kr, Xe, and Rn form compounds that can be isolated in bulk at or near standard temperature and pressure, whereas He, Ne, Ar have been observed to form true chemical bonds using spectroscopic techniques, but only when frozen into a noble gas matrix at temperatures of 40 K or lower, in supersonic jets of noble gas, or under extremely high pressures with metals. ...
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Flashtube
A flashtube (flashlamp) is an electric arc lamp designed to produce extremely intense, incoherent, full-spectrum white light for a very short time. A flashtube is a glass tube with an electrode at each end and is filled with a gas that, when triggered, ionizes and conducts a high-voltage pulse to make light. Flashtubes are used most in photography; they also are used in science, medicine, industry, and entertainment. Construction The lamp comprises a hermetically sealed glass tube, which is filled with a noble gas, usually xenon, and electrodes to carry electrical current to the gas. Additionally, a high voltage power source is necessary to energize the gas as a trigger event. A charged capacitor is usually used to supply energy for the flash, so as to allow very speedy delivery of very high electrical current when the lamp is triggered. Glass envelopes The glass envelope is most commonly a thin tube, often made of fused quartz, borosilicate or Pyrex, which may be straight, ...
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Xenon Hexafluoroplatinate
Xenon hexafluoroplatinate is the product of the reaction of platinum hexafluoride with xenon, in an experiment that proved the chemical reactivity of the noble gases. This experiment was performed by Neil Bartlett at the University of British Columbia, who formulated the product as "Xe+ tF6sup>−", although subsequent work suggests that Bartlett's product was probably a salt mixture and did not in fact contain this specific salt. Preparation "Xenon hexafluoroplatinate" is prepared from xenon and platinum hexafluoride (PtF6) as gaseous solutions in SF6. The reactants are combined at 77  K and slowly warmed to allow for a controlled reaction. Structure The material described originally as "xenon hexafluoroplatinate" is probably not Xe+ tF6sup>−. The main problem with this formulation is "Xe+", which would be a radical and would dimerize or abstract a fluorine atom to give XeF+. Thus, Bartlett discovered that Xe undergoes chemical reactions, but the nature and pu ...
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Excimer Laser
An excimer laser, sometimes more correctly called an exciplex laser, is a form of ultraviolet laser which is commonly used in the production of microelectronic devices, semiconductor based integrated circuits or "chips", eye surgery, and micromachining. Since 1960s excimer lasers are widely used in high-resolution photolithography machines, one of the critical technologies required for microelectronic chip manufacturing. Terminology and history The term excimer is short for 'excited dimer', while exciplex is short for 'excited complex'. Most excimer lasers are of the noble gas halide type, for which the term ''excimer'' is, strictly speaking, a misnomer. (Although less commonly used, the proper term for such is an exciplex laser.) Excimer laser was proposed in 1960 by Fritz Houtermans. The excimer laser development started with the observation of a nascent spectral line narrowing at 176 nm  reported in 1971 by Nikolai Basov, V. A. Danilychev and Yu. M. Popov, at t ...
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Laser Pumping
Laser pumping is the act of energy transfer from an external source into the gain medium of a laser. The energy is absorbed in the medium, producing excited states in its atoms. When the number of particles in one excited state exceeds the number of particles in the ground state or a less-excited state, population inversion is achieved. In this condition, the mechanism of stimulated emission can take place and the medium can act as a laser or an optical amplifier. The pump power must be higher than the lasing threshold of the laser. The pump energy is usually provided in the form of light or electric current, but more exotic sources have been used, such as chemical or nuclear reactions. Optical pumping Pumping cavities A laser pumped with an arc lamp or a flashlamp is usually pumped through the lateral wall of the lasing medium, which is often in the form of a crystal rod containing a metallic impurity or a glass tube containing a liquid dye, in a condition known as "side-pump ...
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Nuclear Reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device used to initiate and control a fission nuclear chain reaction or nuclear fusion reactions. Nuclear reactors are used at nuclear power plants for electricity generation and in nuclear marine propulsion. Heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid (water or gas), which in turn runs through steam turbines. These either drive a ship's propellers or turn electrical generators' shafts. Nuclear generated steam in principle can be used for industrial process heat or for district heating. Some reactors are used to produce isotopes for medical and industrial use, or for production of weapons-grade plutonium. , the International Atomic Energy Agency reports there are 422 nuclear power reactors and 223 nuclear research reactors in operation around the world. In the early era of nuclear reactors (1940s), a reactor was known as a nuclear pile or atomic pile (so-called because the graphite moderator blocks of the first reactor were placed in ...
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Symbol (chemistry)
Chemical symbols are the abbreviations used in chemistry for chemical elements, functional groups and chemical compounds. Element symbols for chemical elements normally consist of one or two letters from the Latin alphabet and are written with the first letter capitalised. History Earlier symbols for chemical elements stem from classical Latin and Greek vocabulary. For some elements, this is because the material was known in ancient times, while for others, the name is a more recent invention. For example, Pb is the symbol for lead (''plumbum'' in Latin); Hg is the symbol for mercury (''hydrargyrum'' in Greek); and He is the symbol for helium (a new Latin name) because helium was not known in ancient Roman times. Some symbols come from other sources, like W for tungsten (''Wolfram'' in German) which was not known in Roman times. A three-letter temporary symbol may be assigned to a newly synthesized (or not yet synthesized) element. For example, "Uno" was the temporary sy ...
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